#NoFilterNeeded: Nicole’s Accutane Journey
Updated: Jun 27
Hi Skin Worthy fans! Thank you for taking interest in this post, I hope that my #accutanejourney will shed some light on Accutane use and acne treatments. First of all, I would like to state that everyone’s skin is different, as are the reactions to various treatments. Most treatments come with side effects and I caution everyone to listen to their bodies first and foremost, and consult with your physician/dermatologist/medical aesthetician to find what works best for you.
I had been suffering (and I mean SUFFERING) from acne since I was 11 years old. Terrible right? I got acne cream before I got my first training bra. I am now 25 and just settling into a skincare routine that works for me with the help of my lovely coworkers and skin experts at Skin Worthy. In the 14 years that I have suffered from breakouts I have tried pretty much anything that promised to give me some relief. Some products and medications I purchased time and time again with little to no results, others were used a handful of times before they were thrown out or given away. It took over a year for me to make the final decision to find a dermatologist that specializes in Accutane. I was apprehensive at first as most people automatically associate Accutane with the most severe side effects like suicidal thoughts and depression. Not to say that these side effects are non-existent, they are very much real but they are very rare. I personally have not experienced many side effects despite having my dose increased twice while on Accutane. I started Accutane at 20mg in February 2018 and slowly increased my dose at the discretion of my dermatologist. I worked my way up to 60mg. At the peak of my dosage the only side effects I experienced were dry skin, cracked lips, nose bleeds and occasional joint pain. I officially finished my Accutane treatment in August 2018 and it changed my skin dramatically I can honestly say it the best decision of my life. My only regret is that I did not start my treatment sooner.
Some people questioned my decision to start Accutane, saying my skin wasn't "even that bad". Starting Accutane was about me, my self confidence and my skin. I wanted to stop hiding behind full coverage foundation and snapchat/instagram filters. I would avoid leaving the house with imperfect skin, I would cancel plans/dates if I had a bad break outs. I’ve been asked “why go through all the side effects, your skin isn’t even that bad”- the answer is because I want to be myself and feel like myself in my own skin. It becomes a vicious cycle of clogged, congested pores and zits being covered in heavy, pore clogging oil and makeup. In my opinion, the toughest part of my Accutane treatment was “The Purge” - it is just as terrible as it sounds. My skin went through the worst, 2 month long, cystic breakout that I have ever experienced. There were a few moments of skin clarity but for the most part it made me super self conscious and I was seriously doubting my choice in starting the therapy. Who wants to go through side effects and not see results, right? Once the purge subsides the results are well worth it. I can now confidently say I don’t have cystic acne. I still break out occasionally but I no longer suffer from the deep and painful eruptions that I once did. I love breaking down the myths and misconceptions about Accutane because I feel like it is often overlooked as a reputable acne treatment. Had I spoken to someone earlier I probably would have gone through my treatment years ago. My acne stole 14 years of my self confidence and this past summer I stole it back. I encourage every acne sufferer to do some research into what Accutane and medical grade skincare can do for you. Accutane changed my life and helped me regain confidence in being myself - unfiltered.
Going forward, I maintain my clear skin with ZO SkinHealth products. I am a huge fan of their line and they really help maintain my skin clarity and glow. Some of my favourite products are the Oil Control Pads and the Dual Action Scrub. These products keep my skin clear and balanced, they have totally eliminated the need for the pore clogging moisturizers that I grew so accustomed to.
In the future I would love to do some Microneedling treatments to target my acne scars. I do have quite a few residual ice pick acne scars (deep/narrow) and boxcar acne scars (wide, can have sloping or sharp edges). Microneedling with PRP is a great option to target post acne scarring and has yielded some pretty incredible results.
In addition to acne scarring I do have a bit of sun damage and PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation). A great treatment to address this unwanted pigment is a Corrective BBL treatment. My face holds onto post inflammatory pigment after a breakout and leaves me with dark discoloured spots long after the pimple has healed. Winter happens to be the best season for lasers and the Corrective BBL is able to help me achieve that porcelain skin I have been yearning for.
If you can relate to the above struggles and want to clear up your skin or address the after effects of acne, I recommend coming in for a complimentary consultation at Skin Worthy today! 1-647-350-7546
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